Friday, August 30, 2013

Most Americans Want The Bible Taught In Public Schools

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A little more than 66% of US adults think teaching the Bible in public schools is important.

And 75% are of the opinion that teaching about the Bible in public schools could help reinforce moral principles.

Studies this year further show that 77% believe the morals and values of the nation are in decline.

I suspect that was reaffirmed when people saw Miley Cyrus (known to children as Disney's Hanna Montana) perform at a televised award show this past week. If you haven't seen it on the news, forget it. If you have, you know what I'm talking about.

Among those who believe our morals and values are in decline, 32% believe the cause is lack of biblical literacy, 29% because of the negative influence of the media and entertainment industry and 25% because of corruption and corporate greed.

However, there are those who express concern about teaching the Bible in the public classroom. About 45% are concerned that introducing the Bible back into the classroom could result in favoring one religion over another.

Interestingly, only 32% were concerned that such a move could offend someone. Obliviously this would create angst among the secularists and atheists who worship at the alter of "separation."

Mark Brunett and Roma Downey, producers of "The Bible" series that set viewing records this past year, are among those weighing in on this issue.

"The State of the Bible" survey was taken earlier this year, however, the discussion has re-ignited as people continue to see the moral and cultural decline in our country. Secularists and atheists quickly dismiss the discussion with a "that would be illegal" response.

Whether leading or following the decline of morality in America, secularism and atheism is on the same trajectory of self destruction.

Before we look at the current discussion, lets take a brief look back to those who created this country.

Our Founding Fathers and many of our presidents were very clear on the importance of the Bible and Christianity to the prosperity and freedom in America.

This is a small sample:

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society..." --John Quincy Adams

"That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests." --Andrew Jackson

"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong." --Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln also said: "It is the duty of nations as well as men to recognize the truth announced in Holy Scripture and proven by all of history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."

"Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a 2 reproach to any people." --Ulysses S. Grant

"If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?" --Benjamin Harrison

"Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, almost every such man has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible." --Theodore Roosevelt

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government ... not in the Constitution... (but) upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments". --James Madison

"The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of the law for the virtues of men." --Calvin Coolidge

Noah Webster, the father of public education, believed the Bible was the only textbook required for a good education.

Daniel Webster, said to be one of the most talented senators ever to serve this country said, "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering."

My friend David Barton has done extensive study of the importance of Christianity and the Bible in the founding of this country. He has a number of resources available to inform adults and assist parents in teaching their children a history of America they will not hear in the public classroom.

As secularists and atheists took control of our institutions, particularly public education and entertainment, a decline began in both morality and education itself.

What if the Bible was brought back into public education?

In a public statement on "The State of the Bible 2013" survey, American Bible Society President Doug Birdsall says that students could benefit greatly from the best selling book in history.

He said, "While our intention may be to protect students from the influence of 'other people's' religion, the effect has been that we are raising a generation ignorant about the most influential book of all time."

"The Bible" miniseries producer Mark Burnett wholeheartedly agrees. Burnett, who has also successfully produced "Survivor," "The Voice," and other successful TV shows, says the Bible's stories were common knowledge outside of the United States.

"I really, really believe the Bible should be taught in public schools," said Burnett. "It is embarrassing for young Americans to go overseas in their mid-twenties after college and do business in Rio de Janeiro or Berlin or Paris and not know who David and Goliath are."

Downey and his wife, Roma Downey (who also starred in "The Bible" series), penned a joint opinion article for The Wall Street Journal, further defending their view on teaching the Bible in public schools.

"The Bible has affected the world for centuries in innumerable ways, including art, literature, philosophy, government, philanthropy, education, social justice and humanitarianism," the pair wrote. "One would think that a text of such significance would be taught regularly in schools. Not so. That is because of the 'stumbling block' (the Bible again) that is posed by the powers that be in America."

"It's time to change that, for the sake of the nation's children," they added. "It's time to encourage, perhaps even mandate, the teaching of the Bible in public schools as a primary document of Western civilization."

I agree. Obviously there is the possibility of some one abusing and perverting the teaching of the Bible in the classroom. Is that risk greater than the risk of watching the decline of a great nation until it is merely an asterisk in the dust bin of history?

What if the Founders were right? What if righteousness does indeed exalt a nation? Ten years ago people of faith and conservatives had been awakened to the degree that we are becoming today. A decade ago this conversation would likely not have taken place.

I strongly encourage you to read the Wall Street Journal piece.

Burnett points out that the Supreme has cleared the way for the Bible to be taught in public schools.

He says in the WSJ, "Teaching the Bible is of course a touchy subject. One can't broach it without someone barking 'separation of church and state' and 'forcing religion down my throat'."

"Yet the Supreme Court," he says, "has said it's perfectly OK for schools to do so, ruling in 1963 (Abington School District v. Schempp) that 'the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities'."

He says, "Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as a part of a secular (public school) program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment."

Burnett and Downey conclude with this: "Interestingly enough, the common desk top reference 'The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy' best sums up the Bible's value as a tool of cultural literacy. It's first page declares, 'No one in the English speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible'."

We wonder why our morality is in decline? And why our public education system is in decline?

It's because we have eliminated the very basis of cultural literacy---the Bible. We have converted our classrooms into social experimentation labs, obsessing over gay, lesbian, transgender, bi-sexual, questioning, gender identity, gender roles, men becoming "wives" and women becoming" husbands," trying to normalize and affirm that which is not normal.

The Bible is not only a light on the pathway to literacy, but it is also a lamp to the feet of people finding their way on the pathway of life.

In abandoning the Bible in public education, not only has the quality of our education declined, but the morality of our country as well, because we have lost hope.

Romans 15:4. " For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Be Hopeful. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.